For the third time in the early part of this season, an international break beckons upon us. Manchester United go into the domestic pause having endured a few poor results and performances that have allowed Manchester City to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points. José Mourinho will be hoping that his players can regain some of the confidence shown when the season commenced. Here you can find the details on all the Reds representing their nations over the next week.
The international football for Manchester United stars begins on Thursday, when Armenia all-time top scorer and captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan may feature against Belarus. The playmaker has become a frustrating figure to reds due to some below-par performances over the last month which saw Mkhitaryan fail to register a goal or an assist. Timothy-Fosu Mensah (currently on loan to Crystal Palace) could also be in action as Netherlands travel to the UK to face Scotland. Fosu-Mensah has shown promise in a struggling Palace side this season and will hope to get more minutes under his belt in this fixture.
Many Manchester United players will be hoping to participate in their games taking place on Friday. Victor Lindelöf and Matteo Darmian, two defenders who have been in and out of the team this season, could go head to head as Sweden play Italy in their World Cup Qualifier Playoff. Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku will be desperate to regain his scoring touch as Belgium host Mexico. Lukaku made a blistering start to the season, scoring 11 in 11 for the reds, but the goals have dried up for the 24-year-old since the previous international break. There are also four United representatives in the England squad in Rashford, Lingard, Jones, and Young who earns a recall after four years out as the Three Lions go up against old rivals Germany. Furthermore, Anthony Martial has also earned a recall to his nation's team as France take on Wales. Martial has gained a habit of scoring off the bench, recording four goals as a substitute in the Premier League, and seven goals in total this season. Additionally, Nemanja Matic and Serbia travel to Asia to face China PR.
Continuing with the Friday fixtures, a few youngsters are hoping to get some action for their nations under-21 sides. Dean Henderson and Axel Tuanzebe are part of the England U21 competing against Sweden U21, whereas Joel Pereira's Portugal U21 take on Romania U21. To finish off, Regan Poole is part of Wales U21 who face Bosnia & Herzegovina U21.
On Saturday, United's senior goalkeepers David De Gea and Sergio Romero will be looking for action when Spain host Costa Rica and Argentina go to Russia. De Gea has been in the typical form that made him so highly rated, keeping a total of 12 clean sheets 17 appearances this campaign.
Monday sees the return fixture of Sweden v Italy for a place at the 2018 World Cup, where again Lindelof and Darmian are part of the squad. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is also in action again, this time Armenia hosting Cyprus.
To conclude the international break, Tuesday sees many United players once again hoping for some minutes. Romero and Argentina host Nigeria whereas De Gea's Spain go to Russia. Timothy Fosu-Mensah and the Oranje face Romania in an away fixture whilst Lukaku is again in action for Belgium against Japan. Les Bleus, including Martial, go to current world champions Germany and on the same evening, England are at Wembley again, welcoming Brazil. Rashford, Lingard, Jones, and Young are of course the United representatives in the Southgate's squad. Midfield enforcer Matic will go to South Korea with Serbia, and in terms of our academy, Pereira and Portugal U21 host Switzerland U21 and Poole is part of Wales U21 hosting Romania U21.
Who's Not In Action?
As stated prior, many reds are on international duty, although not all are out representing their country. England boss Southgate decided against including Chris Smalling in his squad, whilst Ander Herrera yet again is not in favour with Spain's boss Julen Lopetegui.